O’Donnell + Tuomey: In conversation

Architects Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey of O'Donnell + Tuomey discuss their recent work in England and Ireland.

October 28, 2014
7:00 p.m.

O'Donnell + Tuomey | LSE Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, London, United Kingdom, 2009. Credit: Dennis Gilbert

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey of O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, who were just awarded the 2014 RIBA Gold Medal, will present their work in a public lecture to be followed by a conversation with Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

O’Donnell + Tuomey’s recently opened Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics exemplifies the firm’s ability to weave extraordinary new structures into the existing urban fabric. In the nomination for the 2014 Stirling Prize, the jury describes its spiraling, textured brick form as “an object lesson in mobilizing the limitations of a site into a startlingly original building which makes a massive contribution to its townscape.” O’Donnell and Tuomey will discuss the background for and design of this project, which has received the RIAI’s International Award, an RIBA National Award, and the RIBA London Building of the Year Award.

Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey have worked together for more than 25 years. Established in 1988, their firm, O’Donnell + Tuomey, first gained recognition for their design of the Irish Film Centre, Dublin, which won the Downes Medal in the same year. Other notable early projects include the Lewis Glucksman Gallery at University College, Cork, and Timberland Social Housing, Dublin. More recent work includes the Gallery of Photography, London; Lyric Theatre, Belfast; and An Gaeláras Irish Language Centre, Derry.

Publications include O’Donnell + Tuomey Selected Works and Space for Architecture: The Work of O’Donnell + Tuomey. O’Donnell and Tuomey teach at University College, Dublin, and have lectured at schools of architecture in Europe, the UK, Japan, and the USA, including Harvard, Princeton, Cambridge and the AA. They received the RAIA Gold Medal in 2005, were elected honorary fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2010, and have been seven time winners of the AAI Downes Medal for Excellence in Architectural Design. They have been shortlisted numerous times for the RIBA Lubetkin Prize, the Mies van der Rohe European Award, and the RIBA Stirling Prize.

Moderated by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. Williams and Tsien have practiced in partnership since 1986. They are principals of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Billie Tsien is president of The Architectural League of New York.

This lecture is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.